September 17, 2021

Etebo makes Watford debut in West Bromwich Albion draw

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The Super Eagles midfielder played his first game for the Hornets as the Premier League side squared up against the English second-tier outfit

Oghenekaro Etebo made his Watford bow as the Hornets played to a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s pre-season friendly.

The midfielder increased the number of Nigerians in the Hertfordshire-based outfit having joined them on loan from Stoke City.

Nonetheless, he waited for 15 days before realising the ambition of representing Xisco Munoz’s side.

In the keenly contested encounter played at Vicarage Road, the 25-year-old was handed a place in the starting XI alongside compatriot William Troost-Ekong, Morocco’s Adam Masina and Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr.

Although the Baggies dominated ball possession, it was the hosts who had the best chance to score first, albeit, Sarr was unable to beat goalkeeper David Button.

For the visiting side, Grady Diangana tested Ben Foster twice before attempting to lob the former Manchester United man who was required to retreat to save his blushes.

At the beginning of the second half, Scotland youth international of Nigerian descent Dapo Mebude was brought in as a replacement for Tom Cleverley to strengthen Watford’s midfield.

In the 52nd minute, Mebude almost put his team ahead but he shot wide of the left upright after dragging it across goal.

On the hour mark, Sarr forced an impressive save off goalkeeper Button. Two minutes later, Etebo was replaced by Henry Wise.

The game ended on a no winner, no vanquished note as both teams failed to find the back of the net.

Emmanuel Dennis – who made his debut earlier in the day against Brentford was kept out of the clash against the English Championship team.

On the other hand, Semi Ajayi was handed a place in West Brom’s starting XI before he was replaced by Frenchman Cedric Kipre.

Prior to this fixture, Etebo had vowed that the Hornets would give their best when the 2021-2022 season commences.

“I’m excited, I’m happy to be part of the family. It’s been a joy to me since I came in. The lads, the management, everyone in the club have been good. I see it is a family club. I’m just trying to settle in, which I think is going to be fine for me,” he told the club’s website.

“It’s going to be a long season, but let’s see. The most important thing is for us to keep our heads up, and make sure we’re going to give everything.”

Before their first game against Aston Villa, Munoz’s team would take on Stevenage, Barnsley and Crystal Palace in subsequent friendlies.